Northam vetoes legislation creating school protection officer position

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STERLING, VA – NOVEMBER 03: Virginia Democratic candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, campaigns at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society following Friday prayers November 3, 2017 in Sterling, Virginia. Virginia will elect the next governor of the state next Tuesday, November 7. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Gov. Ralph Northam vetoed a bill Tuesday that would allow for the creation of school protection officers.

House Bill 2142 defines “school protection officers” as employees of a local law enforcement agency that would provide “limited law enforcement and security services” in public schools. 

The bill further provides Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) would develop training standards for school protection officers and that such training may be provided by the employing law enforcement agency and would be graduated based upon the duties performed.

According to the governor’s veto statement, the school protection officer position is ill-defined. 

Northam stated that “allowing a new type of officer with undefined duties and indeterminate training will not serve to make Virginia’s students and schools safer.”

He pointed out Virginia law already provides for school resource officers and school security officers to protect the safety of the Commonwealth’s students and schools.

These two officers have well-defined duties and stringent, uniform training standards.

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